Friendship is an important part of the good life. While many roboticists are eager to create friend-like robots, many philosophers and ethicists are concerned. They argue that robots cannot really be our friends. Robots can only fake the emotional and behavioural cues we associate with friendship. Consequently, we should resist the drive to create robot friends. In this article, I argue that the philosophical critics are wrong. Using the classic virtue-ideal of friendship, I argue that robots can (...) plausibly be considered our virtue friends - that to do so is philosophically reasonable. Furthermore, I argue that even if you do not think that robots can be our virtue friends, they can fulfil other important friendship roles, and can complement and enhance the virtue friendships between human beings. (shrink)
Contrary to many "political" interpretations, of "Brave New World" and "1984" this paper stresses that the evil of totalitarian government is not simply in the presence of great and arbitrary power, but in the particular ways that such power erodes love and friendship, the bases of social life. The crisis represented by the destruction of all possibility of love and friendship is placed in the context of Dostoevsky's meditations on "The Grand Inquisitor," and reflections by noted political theorists (...) on the character of modern politics. (shrink)
Aristotle’s Politics offers both a broad diagnosis of the hazards of contemporary populism and a broad characterization of actionable remedies, and it does so in conjunction with an ideal of political societies as properly partnerships in living well, characterized by voluntary cooperation, mutual advantage, and civic friendship. The task of this paper is to explain the diagnosis, remedies, and ideals more fully and to illustrate their currency and value in contemporary political analysis. It addresses Aristotle’s views on demagogues and (...) civic friendship, the nature and circumstances of populism in the U.S., and the Aristotelian remedies that may be helpful in strengthening civic friendship today. (shrink)
The philosophers of antiquity had much to say about the place of friendship in the good life and its role in helping us live virtuously. Augustine is unusual in giving substantial attention to the dangers of friendship and its potential to serve as an obstacle (rather than an aid) to virtue. Despite the originality of Augustine’s thought on this topic, this area of his thinking has received little attention. This paper will show how Augustine, especially in the early (...) books of the Confessions, carefully examines the potential of friendship to lead us astray. In particular, friendships may prove an impediment to virtue by: derailing our practical reasoning (rather than aiding it); fostering vices (rather than virtues); and misdirecting our love. Augustine’s investigation of the murky depths of friendship shows an original philosopher and keen observer of the human condition at work. (shrink)
In this paper, I describe some of what I take to be the more interesting features of friendship, then explore the extent to which other virtues can be reconstructed as sharing those features. I use trustworthiness as my example throughout, but I think that other virtues such as generosity & gratitude, pride & respect, and the producer’s & consumer’s sense of humor can also be analyzed with this model. The aim of the paper is not to demonstrate that all (...) moral virtues are exactly like friendship in all important respects, but rather to articulate a fruitful model in which to explore the virtues. Section 2 explores the relational nature of friendship, drawing on Aristotle’s discussion of friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics. Section 3 catalogues four motivations for taking seriously the friendship model of virtue. Section 4 applies the friendship model in depth to the virtue of trustworthiness. (shrink)
Love, Friendship, and the Self presents a reexamination of our common understanding of ourselves as persons in light of the phenomena of love and friendship. It argues that the individualism that is implicit in that understanding cannot be sustained if we are to understand the kind of distinctively personal intimacy that love and friendship essentially involve. For love is a matter of identifying with someone: sharing for his sake the concerns and values that make up his identity (...) as the person he is. Moreover, in friendship the friends share not only a concern for each other but also their activity, their lives, and even potentially their selves. By providing a detailed analysis of these notions, Bennett Helm argues for an understanding of persons as essentially social. (shrink)
Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud have both argued that the demands of being a good friend can conflict with the demands of standard epistemic norms. Intuitively, good friends will tend to seek favorable interpretations of their friends’ behaviors, interpretations that they would not apply to strangers; as such they seem prone to form unjustified beliefs. I argue that there is no such clash of norms. In particular, I argue that friendship does not require us to form beliefs about our (...) friends in the biased fashion suggested by Stroud and Keller. I further argue that while some slight bias in belief-formation might be permitted by friendship, any such bias would fall within the bounds of epistemic propriety. (shrink)
In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach (...) to friendship addresses a gap in Levinas’ work between the absolute Other for whom I am responsible and the “brother” who is my political equal. (shrink)
We argue that companion friendship is not importantly marked by self-disclosure as understood in either of these two ways. One's close friends need not be markedly similar to oneself, as is claimed by the mirror account, nor is the role of private information in establishing and maintaining intimacy important in the way claimed by the secrets view. Our claim will be that the mirror and secrets views not only fail to identify features that are in part constitutive of close (...) or companion friendship, but that they miss the mark quite broadly and fail to capture anything significant and distinctive about the ways in which friendship has an impact on the self. The article will proceed as follows. In the first section we outline our account of the self in friendship. In the next two sections we examine the mirror and secrets views and develop our own view in counterpoint to these. In the final section we defend our own account by showing how it provides the governing conditions which do distinguish friendship from other kinds of relations between persons. (shrink)
The widespread and growing use of new social media, especially social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, invites sustained ethical reflection on emerging forms of online friendship. Social scientists and psychologists are gathering a wealth of empirical data on these trends, yet philosophical analysis of their ethical implications remains comparatively impoverished. In particular, there have been few attempts to explore how traditional ethical theories might be brought to bear upon these developments, or what insights they might offer, if (...) any. In attempting to address this lacuna in applied ethical research, this paper investigates the ethical significance of online friendship by means of an Aristotelian theory of the good life, which holds that human flourishing is chiefly realized through ‘complete’ friendships of virtue. Here, four key dimensions of ‘virtue friendship’ are examined in relation to online social media : reciprocity, empathy, self-knowledge and the shared life. Online social media support and strengthen friendship in ways that mirror these four dimensions, particularly when used to supplement rather than substitute for face-to-face interactions. However, deeper reflection on the meaning of the shared life for Aristotle raises important and troubling questions about the capacity of online social media to support complete friendships of virtue in the contemporary world, along with significant concerns about the enduring relevance of this Aristotelian ideal for the good life in the 21st century. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to demonstrate the relevance of the Aristotelian notion of civic friendship to contemporary political discussion by arguing that it can function as a social good. Contrary to some dominant interpretations of the ancient conception of friendship according to which it can only be understood as an obligatory reciprocity, I argue that friendship between fellow citizens is important because it contributes to the unity of both state and community by transmitting feelings of (...) intimacy and solidarity. In that sense, it can be understood as an important relationship predicated on affection and generosity, virtues lacking from both contemporary politics and society that seem to be merely dominated by Post-Enlightenment ideals. For Aristotle, friendship is important for society because it generates concord, articulating thus a basis for social unity and political agreement. (shrink)
We focus here on some familiar kinds of cases of conflict between friendship and morality, and, on the basis of our account of the nature of friendship, argue for the following two claims: first, that in some cases where we are led morally astray by virtue of a relationship that makes its own demands on us, the relationship in question is properly called a friendship; second, that relationships of this kind are valuable in their own right.
This book explores for the first time an idea common to both Plato and Aristotle: although people are separate, their lives need not be; one person's life may overflow into another's, so that helping someone else is a way of serving oneself. Price considers how this idea unites the philosophers' treatments of love and friendship (which are otherwise very different), and demonstrates that this view of love and friendship, applied not only to personal relationships, but also to the (...) household and even the city-state, promises to resolve the old dichotomy between egoism and altruism. (shrink)
This paper examines Kant’s accounts of friendship and marriage, and argues for what can be called an ideal of “moral marriage” based on Kant’s notion of moral friendship. After explaining why Kant values friendship so highly, it gives an account of the ways in which marriage falls far short, according to Kant, of what friendship has to offer. The paper then argues that many of Kant’s reasons for finding marriage morally impoverished compared with friendship are (...) wrong-headed. The paper further argues that a few of Kant’s views about friendship are false. The main point is that, when we slightly revise Kant’s account of friendship and jettison Kant’s misguided notions about marriage, we see that marriages can aspire to much of the same moral richness as friendships. Finally, the paper argues that this friendship model of marriage does not obscure the important ways in which marriages and friendships differ. (shrink)
On the shared-ends account of close friendship, proper care for a friend as an agent requires seeing yourself as having important reasons to accommodate and promote the friend’s valuable ends for her own sake. However, that friends share ends doesn't inoculate them against disagreements about how to pursue those ends. This paper defends the claim that, in certain circumstances of reasonable disagreement, proper care for a friend as a practical and moral agent sometimes requires allowing her judgment to decide (...) what you are to do, even when you disagree with her judgment (and even when her judgment is in fact mistaken). In these instances, your friendship can make it the case that you may not act on your own practical and even moral judgments because, at those times, you have a duty as her close friend to defer to her judgments. As a result, treating your friend properly as a responsible agent can require that you assist her in committing what may in fact be serious moral wrongs. (shrink)
According to some scholars, Mary Astell’s feminist programme is severely limited by its focus on self-improvement rather than wider social change. In response, I highlight the role of ‘virtuous friendship’ in Astell’s 1694 work, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies. Building on classical ideals and traditional Christian principles, Astell promotes the morally transformative power of virtuous friendship among women. By examining the significance of such friendship to Astell’s feminism, we can see that she did in fact aim (...) to bring about reformation of society and not just the individual. (shrink)
Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine (...) class='Hi'>friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange. (shrink)
What is common to all instances of friendship? Given their seemingly heterogeneous character, Phelan (2019. “Rethinking Friendship.” Inquiry) suggests that friendships are relationships that result from collaborative norm-manipulation. In this paper, I suggest that this proposal fails to account for all friendships without relying on the notion of some kind of care.
Epicurean ethics has been subject to withering ancient and contemporary criticism for the supposed irreconcilability of Epicurus’s emphatic endorsement of friendship and his equally clear and striking ethical egoism. Recently, Matthew Evans (2004) has suggested that the key to a plausible Epicurean response to these criticisms must begin by understanding why friendship is valuable for Epicurus. In the first section of this paper I develop Evans’ suggestion further. I argue that a shared conception of the human telos and (...) of what is required to attain it structures the confidence that characterizes friendship. In the second part of the paper I return to two contemporary criticisms of Epicurean friendship. The first criticism focuses on the problem of free riders. The second criticism points to a seeming inconsistency in Epicurean doctrine. I suggest that both criticisms can be adequately addressed once we understand Epicurean friendship in greater depth. (shrink)
Certain relationships generate associative duties that exhibit robustness across change. It seems insufficient for friendship, for example, if I am only disposed to fulfil duties of friendship towards you as things stand here and now. However, robustness is not required across all variations. Were you to become monstrously cruel towards me, we might expect that my duties of friendship towards you would not be robust across that kind of change. The question then is this: is there any (...) principled way of distinguishing those variations across which robustness of the disposition to fulfil duties of friendship is required from those across which it is not? In this paper I propose a way of answering this question that invokes distinctions concerning how we value friends and friendships, and how persons and friendships possess value – distinctions that are central to the project of specifying not only the limits of robustness, but also the source of duties of friendship and associative duties more generally. (shrink)
Aristotle’s account of friendship has largely withstood the test of time. Yet there are overlooked elements of his account that, when challenged by apparent threats of current and emerging communication technologies, reveal his account to be remarkably prescient. I evaluate the danger that technological advances in communication pose to the future of friendship by examining and defending Aristotle’s claim that perfect or character-friends must live together. I concede that technologically-mediated communication can aid existing character-friendships, but I argue that (...) character-friendships cannot be created and sustained entirely through technological meditation. I examine text-based technologies, such as Facebook and email, and engage a non-text based technology that poses the greatest threat to my thesis—Skype. I then address philosophical literature on friendship and technology that has emerged in the last decade in Ethics and Information Technology to elucidate and defend my account by contrast. I engage Cocking and Matthews (2000), who argue that friendship cannot be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, Briggle (2008), who argues that friendship can be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, and Munn (2012), who argues that friendship cannot be created and entirely sustained through text-based contact but can be created and sustained entirely in immersive virtual worlds. My account discusses a certain kind of friendship, character-friendship, and a certain kind of technology, Skype, that these accounts do not. Examination of these essays helps to demonstrate that character friendship cannot be sustained entirely by technologically-aided communication and that character-friends must live together. (shrink)
The paper identifies a distinctive feature of friendship. Friendship, it is argued, is a relationship between two people in which each participant values the other and successfully communicates this fact to the other. This feature of friendship, it is claimed, explains why friendship plays a key role in human happiness, why it is praised by philosophers, poets, and novelists, and why we all seek friends. Although the characterization of friendship proposed here differs from other views (...) in the literature, it is shown that it accommodates key insights of other writers on the topic. Thus, in accordance with the Aristotelian strategy the paper employs, it is shown that the account on offer preserves the received opinions on friendship. (shrink)
In this article I examine a recent development in online communication, the immersive virtual worlds of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). I argue that these environments provide a distinct form of online experience from the experience available through earlier generation forms of online communication such as newsgroups, chat rooms, email and instant messaging. The experience available to participants in MMORPGs is founded on shared activity, while the experience of earlier generation online communication is largely if not wholly dependent on (...) the communication itself. This difference, I argue, makes interaction in immersive virtual worlds such as MMORPGs relevantly similar to interaction in the physical world, and distinguishes both physical world and immersive virtual world interaction from other forms of online communication. I argue that to the extent that shared activity is a core element in the formation of friendships, friendships can form in immersive virtual worlds as they do in the physical world, and that this possibility was unavailable in earlier forms of online interaction. I do, however, note that earlier forms of online interaction are capable of sustaining friendships formed through either physical or immersive virtual world interaction. I conclude that we cannot any longer make a sharp distinction between the physical and the virtual world, as the characteristics of friendship are able to be developed in each. (shrink)
In Nicomachean Ethics 10.7, Aristotle says that the contemplative wise person living the happiest and most self-sufficient life will need other people less than a person living a life of practical virtue. This seems to be in tension with Aristotle's emphasis elsewhere on the political nature of human beings. I analyze in detail Aristotle's most elaborate defense of the need for friends in the happy life in Nicomachean Ethics 9.9 to see whether and how he resolves the need for friends (...) with the self-sufficiency of the happy life. The virtue-friendship described in the chapter does turn out to be more compatible with the self-contained unity of a happy life than other sorts of friendship, because collaboration in virtuous activities integrates the friend into one's activities. This is true even for contemplative friendship, where, as Aristotle suggests in the ornate final argument of 9.9, the friends collaboratively contemplate human nature and take pleasure in the goodness of human life. The unity achieved in this kind of friendship is an imitation of God's self-contemplative and self-contained unity. Nonetheless, I conclude, there is no evidence that Aristotle did not think that friendship was conditioned on human failings and so that friends would be less necessary for those leading the most excellent contemplative lives. (shrink)
Most theories about virtue cultivation fall under the general umbrella of the role model approach, according to which virtue is acquired by emulating role models, and where those role models are usually conceived of as superior in some relevant respect to the learners. I argue that although we need role models to cultivate virtue, we also need good and close relationships with people who are not our superiors. The overemphasis on role models is misguided and misleading, and a good antidote (...) draws on the Aristotelian concept of character friendship. Character friendship constitutes a unique form of experience in which we share a substantial way of seeing with a close other; facilitates a unique form of knowledge, the knowledge of a particular person ; develops other emotions important for virtue cultivation besides admiration, such as love, shame, trust, and hope; and is a praxis in which cooperative interactions and discussions function as a bridge between habituation of virtue at home and the public life. Character friendship provides necessary elements for human cultivation of virtue that the sole experience of having a role model does not. (shrink)
This book offers a comprehensive account of the major philosophical works on friendship and its relationship to self-love. The book gives central place to Aristotle's searching examination of friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics. Lorraine Pangle argues that the difficulties surrounding this discussion are soon dispelled once one understands the purpose of the Ethics as both a source of practical guidance for life and a profound, theoretical investigation into human nature. The book also provides fresh interpretations of works on (...)friendship by Plato, Cicero, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne and Bacon. The author shows how each of these thinkers sheds light on central questions of moral philosophy: is human sociability rooted in neediness or strength? is the best life chiefly solitary, or dedicated to a community with others? Clearly structured and engagingly written, this book will appeal to a broad swathe of readers across philosophy, classics and political science. (shrink)
Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of political reconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not because (...) their relationship involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of political reconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
What constitutes a true human-to-human relationship? What is its importance and value for human life? These are the questions I explore in this talk on Aristotle's philosophy of friendship, originally presented as part of Boston University's Core Curriculum lecture series.
The individual and social formation of a human self, from its emergence in early childhood through adolescence to adult life, has been described within philosophy, psychology and sociology as a product of developmental and social processes mediating a linguistic and social world. Semiotic scaffolding is a multi-level phenomenon. Focusing upon levels of semiosis specific to humans, the formation of the personal self and the role of friendship and similar interpersonal relations in this process is explored through Aristotle’s classical idea (...) of the friend as ‘another self’, and sociologist Margaret Archer’s empirical and theoretical work on the interplay between individual subjectivity, social structure and interpersonal relations in a dynamics of human agency. It is shown that although processes of reflexivity and friendship can indeed be seen as instances of semiotic scaffolding of the emerging self, such processes are heterogeneous and contingent upon different modes of reflexivity. (shrink)
This article examines Derrida’s insistence on the contretemps that breaks open time, paying particular attention to Politics of Friendship and the way in which this book envisages the ‘untimely’ as both interrupting, and making possible, friendship. Although I suggest that Derrida’s temporal deconstruction of the Aristotelian distinction between utility and ‘perfect’ friendships is convincing, I also argue that Derrida’s own account of friendship is itself touched by time, in the peculiar sense of ‘touched’ that connotes affected and (...) wounded. Derrida’s work instantiates what Husserl might call a transcendental pathology, in that it intermittently instantiates an ethics of non-presentist time, and, by contrast, disparages the significance of what we might call an ethics of phronesis, a ‘lived’ friendship of ‘omni-temporal’ dispositions, and embodied and habitual patterns. I end this article by proposing a dialectic between the disjunctive and conjunctive aspects of time that does not accord any kind of a priori privilege to the one over the other. (shrink)
Mark Vernon links the resources of the philosophical tradition with numerous illustrations from modern culture to ask what friendship is and how it relates to sex, work, politics and spirituality. Unusually, he argues that Plato and Nietzsche, as much as Aristotle and Aelred, should be put center stage. Their penetrating and occasionally tough insights are invaluable if friendship is to be a full, not merely sentimental, way of life for today.
This essay looks at the impact that technology is having upon friendship. For as we all know, it is nothing at all to see friends at a restaurant table all engaged in texting rather than talking to one another.
It has become commonplace to hold the view that virtual surrogates for the things that are good in life are inferior to their actual, authentic counterparts, including virtual education, virtual skill-demanding activities and virtual acts of creativity. Virtual friendship has also been argued to be inferior to traditional, embodied forms of friendship. Coupled with the view that virtual friendships threaten to replace actual ones, the conclusion is often made that we ought to concentrate our efforts on actual friendships (...) rather than settle for virtual replacements. The purpose of this paper is to offer a balanced and empirically grounded analysis of the relative prudential value of actual and virtual friendship. That is, do actual and virtual friendships differ when it comes to enhancing our subjective well-being? In doing so, I will discuss a number of presuppositions that lie behind common criticisms of virtual friendship. This will include, among other considerations, their potential for replacing actual friendship, as well as the possibility for self-disclosure, trust, sharing and dynamic spread of happiness in virtual worlds. The purpose is not to arrive at a firm, normative conclusion, but rather to introduce a number of considerations that we should take into account in our individual deliberations over which role virtual friendships ought to have in our unique life situations. (shrink)
Friendship, in its nature, purpose, and effects, has been an important concern of philosophy since antiquity. It was of particular significance in the life of Gilles Deleuze, one of the most original and influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. Taking L'Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze -- an eight-hour video interview that was intended to be aired only after Deleuze's death -- as a key source, Charles J. Stivale examines the role of friendship as it appears in Deleuze's work (...) and life. Stivale develops a zigzag methodology practiced by Deleuze himself to explore several concepts as they relate to friendship and to discern how friendship shifts, slips, and creates movement between Deleuze and specific friends. The first section of this study discusses the elements of creativity, pedagogy, and literature that appear implicitly and explicitly in his work. The second section focuses on Deleuze's friendships with Foucault, Derrida, Claire Parnet, and Félix Guattari and reveals his conception of friendship as an ultimately impersonal form of intensity that goes beyond personal relationships. Stivale's analysis offers an intimate view into the thought of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. (shrink)
Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, establishes a particular union among individual human beings which allows them to overcome diverse boundaries between individual subjects. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship and as a social phenomenon, it might even include the potential to exist independently of space and time. This analysis in the interface of social science and phenomenology focuses on the principles of construction and constitution of this specific (...) form of human encounter. In a “parallel action,” the perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. The point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in eighteenth century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship. (shrink)
In a special issue of “Ethics and Information Technology” (September 2012), various philosophers have discussed the notion of online friendship. The preferred framework of analysis was Aristotle’s theory of friendship: it was argued that online friendships face many obstacles that hinder them from ever reaching the highest form of Aristotelian friendship. In this article I aim to offer a different perspective by critically analyzing the arguments these philosophers use against online friendship. I begin by isolating the (...) most common arguments these philosophers use against online friendship and proceed to debunk them one by one by pointing out inconsistencies and fallacies in their arguments and, where needed, offering empirical findings from media and communication studies that offer a more nuanced view on online friendships. I conclude my analysis by questioning the correctness of the application of the Aristotelian theory of friendship by the critics of online friendship: in my view, the critics are applying the Aristotelian theory to online friendships in a rather narrow and limited way. Finally, I conclude my thesis by proposing that in the rapidly changing online landscape, a one-size-fits-all application of the Aristotelian theory on friendship is not sufficient to accurately judge the multitude of relationships that can exist online and that the various positive and valuable elements of online friendships should also be acknowledged and analyzed. (shrink)
There is an ongoing debate about the value of virtual friendship. In contrast to previous authorships, this paper argues that virtual friendship can have independent value. It is argued that within an Aristotelian framework, some friendships that are perhaps impossible offline can exist online, i.e., some offline unequals can be online equals and thus form online friendships of independent value.
A widely held view concerning the justification of associative duties is the so-called relationships view, according to which associative duties within personal relationships arise because of the value of those relationships. Against this view, it has been argued that there can be cases of undemanding friendships, that is, genuine friendships with no associative duties. In this article, I argue that undemanding friendships do not show that associative duties are not grounded in the value of the relationship that gives rise to (...) them by providing an interpretivist account of the normativity of friendships. I argue that friendships are complex values that need to be interpreted in order to determine which response to them would be appropriate, and that understanding one's friendship as undemanding is one valid interpretation of the value of friendship. Subsequently, I demonstrate that this solution is not ad hoc, because friendship is not the only complex value that needs to be interpreted. (shrink)
The ubiquity of online social networks has led to the phenomena of having friends that are known only through online interaction. In many cases, no physical interaction has taken place, but still people consider each other friends. This paper analyzes whether these friendships would satisfy the conditions of Aristotle’s highest level of friendship–what he calls perfect friendship. Since perfect friendship manifests through a shared love of virtue, physical proximity would seem to be unnecessary at first glance. However, (...) I argue that the nature of online interaction may preclude us from fully recognizing the virtues and vices in others to the degree necessary for perfect friendship to occur. As such, online friendships face significant obstacles against moving beyond utility or pleasure, and this has important repercussions for online interaction more generally. (shrink)
Introduction -- The problem of Socrates : Kierkegaard and Nietzsche -- Kierkegaard : Socrates vs. the God -- Nietzsche : call for an artistic Socrates -- Plato's Socrates -- Love, generation, and political community (the Symposium) -- The prologue -- Phaedrus' praise of nobility -- Pausanias' praise of law -- Eryximachus' praise of art -- Aristophanic comedy -- Tragic victory -- Socrates' turn -- Socrates' prophetess and the daemonic -- Love as generative -- Alcibiades' dramatic entrance -- Alcibiades' images of (...) socrates -- Alcibiades' praise of Socrates' virtues -- Aftermath -- The incompleteness of the Symposium -- Self-knowledge, love, and rhetoric (Plato's Phaedrus) -- The setting -- Non-lovers (Lysias' speech and Socrates' first speech) -- Souls and their fall -- Lovers and their ascent -- Prayer to love -- Contemporary rhetoric and politics -- A genuine art of rhetoric -- Writing -- Prayer to Pan -- Who is the friend? (the Lysis) -- Joining the group -- Getting acquainted -- Seeking a friend -- Are friends the ones loving, the ones loved, or both? -- Are likes friends? -- Are unlikes friends? -- Are those who are neither good nor bad friends to the good? -- Are the kindred friends? -- Who might friends be? -- Friendly communities -- Socratic philosophizing -- Socrates' youthful search for cause -- Socrates' second sailing and the ideas -- Piety, poetry, and friendship. (shrink)
In its first part, the paper explores the challenge of conceptualizing the Thomist theological virtue of hope in Aristotelian terms that are compatible with non-Thomist and even atheist metaphysics as well. I argue that the key concept in this endeavor is friendship—as an Aristotelian virtue, as relational value in Thomist theology, as a recognized value in supportive care and as a kind of ‘personal hope.’ Then, the paper proceeds to examine the possible differences between hope as a virtue and (...) hope as an experience reported by people, terminal patients in particular. With the clinical problem of hope at the end of life in mind, the paper concludes with two meta-ethical questions—about the overridingness of .. (shrink)
"Friendship, that pervasive, everyday, and subtle matter of our most intimate personal life, has rarely been accorded its due. Michael Pakaluk has retrieved the thoughts of our greatest thinkers on the subject and collected them into a handsome and handy volume.... A splendid book!" --M. M. Wartofsky, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Baruch College, City University of New York.
Aristotle's emphasis on sameness of character in his description of the virtuous friend as "another self" figures centrally in all his arguments for the necessity of friendship to self-knowledge. Although the attribution of the Magna Moralia to Aristotle is disputed, the comparison of the friend to a mirror in this work has encouraged many commentators to view the friend as a mirror that provides the clearest and most immediate image of one's own virtue. I will offer my own reading (...) of Aristotle's theory of friendship, suggesting that the friend constitutes "another self" not as a mirror image but rather as a partner in moral perception. (shrink)